Day 4 Recap: Young Germany cruises to final in men's tournament
Young and rising Germany versus experienced Paralympic gold medallist Lithuania. That will be the name of the game in the men’s final in the 2017 IBSA Goalball European Championships in Pajulahti, Finland on Friday.
Germany beat Sweden 6–3 in Thursday’s first semifinal and Lithuania overcame Belgium 7–4 in the second.
– We had to be wise and sharp in the defence to be able to win a strong opponent like Sweden, said Stefan Hawranke, one of the more experienced players in the German team.
– I have played 17 years of international goalball and this is a first time in the final of the big tournament. It’s a wonderful feeling, Hawranke told.
Germany have been a strongest and most stabile team in the men’s tournament so far but experienced Lithuania knows very well what it takes to win the big games.
– I have seen Germany play couple of times in this tournament and I think it’s a very good young team. We will have a tough game and it will be difficult to beat them, but we’ll try, said Lithuanian center player Mantas Brazauskis.
In women’s tournament there were no space for surprises as Turkey rallied to the final with 8–0 win against Greece and Russia beat Israel 9–3 in the other semifinal. Friday’s final will be a tough encounter against two very good sides. Russia can depend on their team work and wide material but Turkey have a special ace, Sevda Altunoluk, who have scored amazing 34 goals in six matches. No wonder she is considered as the best female goalball player in the world.
– I’m really honoured if people think that I’m the best. I work really hard and try to keep up my form, Altunoluk said.
The placement matches of the goalball Euros were also played on Thursday. In men’s tournament Turkey finished fifth, Czech Republic sixth and Finland seventh. Ukraine (8th), Slovenia (9th) and Great Britain (10th) are going down to Division B.
In women’s tournament Denmark finished fifth, Great Britain sixth and Germany seventh. Finland (8th), Ukraine (9th) and Sweden (10th) were relegated.
Thursday’s results in the Goalball European Championships
- Places 5–8: Ukraine–Czech Republic 6-7 (3-1) ot.
- Places 5–8: Turkey–Finland 4-3 (3-0)
- Semifinal: Germany–Sweden 6-3 (2-2)
- Semifinal: Belgium–Lithuania 4-7 (2-3)
- Places 5–6: Turkey–Czech Republic 8-5 (5-3)
- Places 7–8: Ukraine–Finland 3-6 (2-3)
- Places 5–8: Denmark–Finland 6-1 (3-1)
- Places 5–8: Great Britain–Germany 5-3 (4-2)
- Semifinal: Turkey–Greece 8-0 (4-0)
- Semifinal: Israel–Russia 3-9 (2-6)
- Places 5–6: Great Britain–Denmark 1-3 (1-1)
- Places 7–8: Finland–Germany 0-6 (0-1)
All the results can be found from the results page where you can also watch all the matches afterwards.